Our 2.5 hour guided walking tour will introduce you to ten vibrant Mexican traditional artists and artisans in their workshops in downtown Vallarta. The visits are accompanied by cultural notes plus a few minutes to shop in his/her gallery or boutique. Not only beautiful or commercial art forms, the embroideries, paintings, and beaded pieces spring from Mexico’s spiritual roots in Mother Earth, the sacred and the harmony of the natural world. Participants also learn how Mexico's history has influenced life in this beautiful tourist center, as well as the ongoing impact of immigrant cultures on Mexico's mestizo and indigenous roots. We begin by the Guadalupe Cathedral and quickly reach a gallery created by an indigenous Wixaritari (Huichol) family, whose sacred blue deer and peyote-inspired visions are reflected in bead jewelry, sculptures, and yarn paintings. Our second stop is the studio of the renowned stained glass artist who created the Guadalupe church windows; in a nearby shop a couple designs and interprets milagros (folk charms). After a quick visit to a traditional huaraches workshop, we stop at a new upscale boutique framed by straw petates and bamboo arches from Chiapas. And before closing at a center for hand-painted talavera tiles and pottery, we stop in at the new Casa Oaxaca to meet an award-winning potter and to see Zapotec weaving.
Anne Marie Weiss' first visited Mexico when she was 13 , and her love for its vibrant cultures and people led her to study Spanish. She won a Fulbright Scholarship to Mexico City and lived in Saudi Arabia and Syria, where she wrote the first of several books on global cultures. Returning to the US, she was a newspaper columnist for the Dallas Morning News and founded a nonprofit that created dozens of multi-cultural festivals - including the Dallas International Festival, Fiesta Latinoamericana! and the African Unity Fest. In 2003 she was named 'Dallas Peacemaker of the Year.'
International Dallas Communities (DFW International Community Alliance)
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1. A Huichol Indian gallery with bead jewelry, yarn paintings, art. 2. The workshop of Vallarta's renowned stained glass artist. 3. A shop where milagros are created. 4. A designer of high-quality 'wearable art'. 5. A family-owned huaraches (leather sandals) factory. 6. Six talavera painters in their large business. 7. A Zapotec family of weavers. 8. An award-winning potter 9. A piñata creator. 10 A wholesaler of hand-made hats.
a small bottle of water
This walking tour of downtown Vallarta and a bit of adjacent Cinco de Diciembre is comfortable for visitors of all ages. Bathrooms and rest spots are plentiful. Wear comfortable flat shoes.